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The sunshine state's golden fruit :
b florida and the orange, 1930-1960
h [electronic resource] /
by Scott Hussey.
[Tampa, Fla] :
University of South Florida,
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Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2010.
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ABSTRACT: Neither indigenous nor exclusive to Florida, the orange has nevertheless become an international symbol for the state. This connection between product and place appears in cultural materials regarding Florida. In fact and fiction the orange has operated as metaphor and synecdoche for an Edenic Florida. This thesis analyzes how the orange came to represent a "natural" Florida through the conflation of the commercial product with the state's history by way of political and marketing puffery. A litany of citrus advertisements, tourist ephemera, and historical associations regarding the state acknowledged and expanded the connections between the orange, improved health, and Florida. A critical thirty-year period between 1930 and 1960 solidified these connections through major shifts in the Florida citrus industry and American culture. These shifts caused the state history and the oranges' history to become irrevocably entwined.
Advisor: Robert E. Snyder, Ph.D.
Twentieth century america
x Humanities/Cultural Studies/Amer Studies
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
The Sunshine State's Golden Frui t: Florida And The Orange, 1930-1960 by Scott D. Hussey A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Department of Humanities and Cultural Studies College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Co-Major Professor: Robert Snyder, Ph.D. Co-Major Professor: Daniel Belgrad, Ph.D. Thomas Hallock, Ph.D. Date of Approval: April 2, 2010 Keywords: citrus, advertising, twentiet h century america, cultural history Copyright 2010 Scott D. Hussey
Dedication To the people I call immediately upon hearing good news, Pops and Jessica.
Acknowledgements An orange grove is a pastoral d ream. In this bucolic setting labor is non existent and only sweet fragrances permeate the air. I, unfortunately, do not inhabit such a place. This project required not only my labor, but the assistance of several scholars. Dr. Robert Snyder, Dr. Daniel Belgrad, Dr. Thomas Hallock, and Dr. Gary Mormino provided the guidance, support, insights, and patience that shaped this work. I cannot thank you each enough.
i Tables of Contents Lis t of Figures ii Abstract iii Chapter One 1 Chapter Two : The Industry as Fact and Symbol 21 Chapter Three : Add Three Cans and Mix 49 Conclusion 7 2 Bibliography 76
ii List of Figures Figure 1. Ri dgewood Groves Cover 3 Figure 2. Orange Grove Postcard 14 Figure 3. Orange Blosso m Special Postcard 20 Figure 4 Seald Sweet Shop Display 32 Figure 5 Seald S weet Crate Lab el, Native American 35 Figure 6 Victory Vitamin C Advertisement 53 Figure 7 American Automobile Association Map 6 5 Figure 8 Florida State News Bureau Tourism Advertisement 6 7 Figure 9 Roadside Orange Juice Stand 6 8 Figure 10 Th e Citrus Tower 70 Figure 11 The Citrus Tower and Or ange Blossom Tri al 71 Figure 12 Time Magazine Cover 7 5
iii Golden Fruit : Florida and the Orange, 1930 1960 Scott D. Hussey ABSTRACT Neither indigenous nor exclusive to Florida, the orange has nevertheless become an international symbol for the state. This connection between product and place appears in cultural materials regarding Florida. I n fact and fiction the orange has operated as metaphor and synecdoche for an Edenic Florida. This thesis analyze s how the orange came to represent Florida through the conflation of the commercial product citrus advertisements, tourist ephemera, and historical associations regarding the state acknowledged and expanded the connections between the orange, improved health and Florida. A critical thirty year period between 1930 and 1960 solidified these connec tions through major shifts in the Florida citrus industry and American culture These shifts caused the state history to become irrevocably entwined.
1 Chapter One In Pinellas County in 1958, real estate developer Charles Cheezem opened one of S elling retirement homes in the peninsular county w ith its temperate winter weather and high number of sunny days, prove d effortless in the postwar economy The nearby city of St. Petersburg had long served as a haven for aging Americans. The addition of air conditioning in postwar suburban housing allowed communities like Ridgewood Groves to flourish in the Sunshine State. 1 The growth spurt did not remain limited to seniors or to Pinellas County as postwar Florida grew at an astonishing rate. Florida historian Gary Mormino labels the 2 Real estate development and year round tourism now powered the s Despite the physical and cultural shifts occurring in Florid agricultural product, the orange, remained its golden symbol. In a marketing brochure for ld choose from five floor plans, all named after orange varieties the Mandarin, the Seville, the Tangelo, the 1 Raymond Arsenault, St. Petersburg and The Florida Dream, 1888 1950 (Gainesville: Universi ty Press of Florida, 1988), 309; "The End of the Long Hot Summer: The Air Conditioning and Southern Culture," The Journal of Southern History (1984): 597 628. 2 Gary R. M ormino, Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams: A Social History of Modern Florida (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2005), 2.
2 Valencia, and the Duncan. The brochure followed new residents Mr. and Mrs. Alex Boggs from Philadelphia, as they enjoy ed shuffleboard, fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, sunbathing on the beach, golfing, and playing bridge on their patio. The brochure was not simply selling homes to retirees ; key signifier for this lifestyle. Ridgewood Groves e mployed the orange to symbolize an improved life, full of healthy activities that ensured a vital existence in retirement. (Figure1) To guarantee that the reader of this brochure connected the suburban neighborhood with oranges Cheezem incorporated citrus (Ridgewood Groves ), promised homeowners their own produce, and included citrus trees prominently throughout the brochure. On the covers, grapefruit and orange trees fr ame verdant images of residents and their ho mes to connect the product with the symbol. The front cover features the Boggs es an apt word choice for the need to connect the community to oranges pervaded so strongly that the photographer hand painted unripe green oranges the color orange before capturing the cover photo. 3 quality inherent to Florida, symbol ized by the orange. 3 Charles K. Cheezem, d Groves, St. Petersburg, 1958); Interview with James Schnur, Special Collections Archivist, Nelson Poynter Librar y, University of South Florida, St.Petersburg, October 15, 2009.
3 Figure 1 Ridgewood Groves sales brochure cover, 1958. Charles K. Cheezem, Petersburg, 1958).
4 Ironically, the orange is neither indigenous nor exclusive to Florida. Citrus promoters claim that Spanish Explorer Juan fruit researcher Hernando de Soto, the leader of a subsequent expedition, cultivated orange trees as well. 4 The Spaniards employed oranges to combat the skin disease scurvy. Caused by a lack of ascorbic acid, scurvy plagued long inability to keep produce fresh. 5 Without understanding how acidic fruits heeled their bleeding gums or removed the painful purple spots on their lower limbs, the sailors c onsumed oranges (or the local acidic plant) immediately upon landfall. Though they t h anked Providence upon their recuperation, the sailors nonetheless established the orange as their medicinal plant of choice by transporting it to the New World. 6 Four ce nturies later, t wentieth century citrus men, armed with scientific knowledge, cast orange juice as a modern panacea. In the early 1930s, the American Medical Association confirmed research showing the health potency of vitamin C in canned citrus products. This led larger than 4 John M cPhee, Oranges (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1973), 89. 5 Ascorbic acid is the chemical name for vitamin C. Both scurvy and ascorbic derive from the Latin root word scorbutus. 6 Kenneth J. Carpenter, The History of Scurvy and Vitamin C (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986), 1 29.
5 7 Oceans of time separate Ponce de Len from P hillips, yet both contributed to the creation of a system of signification that attached the orange to health and to Florida. twentieth century citrus industry and Florida tourism promoters the development of the commercial, ecol ogical, and sy mbolic relationships between fruit and place required exchange, it remained a small local crop until after the Civil War. 8 Damaging freezes in the winter of 1 895 1896 pushed the product from north Florida to central Florida. Successive freezes and population growths in the twentieth century have moved the commodity farther south and inland. Few locations in Florida have continuously grown oranges for more than 125 years. Florida holds no exclusivity on the sale the fruit in the United States. Texas, Arizona, and California have grown the crop commercially since the early and consumer association. In the mid twentieth century, the sale of the commodity shifted from the fruit to the juice with the advent of Frozen Concentrated Orange Juice (FCOJ). This shi ft increased Florida orange consumption while making actual Florida oranges in the 7 Joy Wallace Dickinson, Orlando Sentinel, December 26, 1999, G.15 Mormino, Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams, 198. 8 Jerry Woods Weeks, "Florida Gold: The Emergence of the Florida Citrus Industry, 1865 1895" (PhD diss. University of North Carolina Chap el Hill. 1977), 1 5.
6 grocer more ubiquitous as grove acreage grew in the Sunshine State in the 1950s. Unfortunately, c labeled as thoughtful stewardship. The use of pesticides, fertilizers, and poor water management practices show ed a distain for anything but their crop. Grown in tight linear rows, the grove Economic decisions, technological advancements, and the vagaries of agriculture (weather, pests, disease, et cetera) all greatly affected orange how production interacted with the natural environment The s 1950s economic growth did not remain limited to orange production. Florida experienced phenomenal postwar growth in population and tourism as well. Highway travel and the increased middle class made a Florida vacation affordable and available to man y Americans. The state became a tourism empire. This caused a 9 D espite the many destabil izing forces, t his agricultural commodity came to represe Florida through both happenstance and economic opportunities. 10 9 Alissa Hamilton, Squeezed: What You Don't Know About Orange Juice (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009), 3. 10 Christian Warren, "Natures Navels: An Overview of the Many Environmental Histories of Florida Citrus." in Paradise Lost ? The Environmental History of Florida, eds. Raymond Arsenault and Jack E. Davis (Gainesville: The University Press of Florida, 2005), 177 200.
7 Yet t oday, the orange and orange juice still conjures images of the Sunshine State to many Americans. In fact and fiction the orange operates as metaphor and synecdoche for an Edenic Florida. Hamilton in her analysis of orange juice production. 11 This connection between product and place constan tly appears in cultural materials regarding Florida. From turn of the the 1998 addition of an orange superimposed on peninsular outline, the orange signifies Florida. Chambers of commerce, agriculturalists, politicians, marketers, and authors have all appropriated oran ge imagery to promote their visions of the Sunshine State. This appropriation of the orange contributed significa ntly to the twentieth century sale of Florida by way of tourist attractions, real estate developments, beaches, and fostered by favorable weather and colorful characters. As the northern tip of the Caribbean, the southernmost state, part vacationland, part twentieth century for Americans a signature template to Mediterranean 12 Representations of the orange presented a golden ball of sunshine, full of life e symbolized a natural vitality intrinsic to Florida. Marketers like Ridgewood Groves 11 Hamilton, Squeezed, 3. 12 M ormino, Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams 3.
8 offered this vitality as tra nsferable through some purchase Therefore, as the sun shone on Mr. and Mrs. Alex Boggs resting beneath their hand painted orange tree, they were receiving reple litical and marketing puffery A litany of cultural materials regarding the state acknowledged and expanded the associations made by the early Spanish sailors, that the orange meant improved health. Especially, during a critical thirty year period between 1930 and 1960, major shifts i n the become irrevocably entwined. Facing economic realities, a state government agency, the Florida Citrus Commission formed in 1935 and a uniform campaign promo ting Flo rida citrus was begun In 1948, FCOJ debuted and altered the American breakfast by making orange juice the morning beverage of choice. The 1950s witnessed postwar boom. Housing developments and strip malls started re placing orange groves. Hoping to transfer some inherent meaning, marketers appropriated orange nomenclature and iconography to promote their new buildings. These man made changes in industry, technology, and place situated the orange at the center of Flori environment.
9 ding to pomologists, weather and sandy soil. During the first Spanish colonial period, the orange never developed as a commercial crop; instead it grew wildly and in yards for home use. At the onset of British colonial rule in Florida (1763 1783), when surveyor and naturalist Bernard Romans set about reco rding the newly acquired colony, he described wild orange groves that 13 This uncultivated describe a Florida citrus farm. A grove occurs naturally in wooded areas, whereas orchards are intentionally planted for cultivation. Once citrus farming began in earnest under British mercantilism, the misnomer stuck. 14 brief time as a British colony (1763 1783) that it s citrus output grew a thousand fold. 15 Once Florida was returned to Spanish rule (1783 1821) a Seminole War veteran, initiated the 13 Bernard Romans, A Concise Natural H istory of East and West Florida (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1962), 278. 14 Thomas B. M ack, Citrifacts II: A Portion of Florida Citrus History (Lakeland: Associated Publications, 1998), 2,19 20. 15 Charles L. Mowat, East Florida as a British Province 1763 1784 (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1964), 78.
10 famed Indian River oranges, known for the sweetness of their juice. This prized taste The nd 16 tidal lagoon between the Indian and Banana Rivers, grew sour orange trees. Grafting the branches of sweet oranges from a grove farther north onto his sour orange r oot stock, Dummett created a new process in orange propagation. This process, known as budding, River oranges commanded $1 more per box in New York City than any other or ange. The process of budding, instead of planting a seed, became an industry standard in the 1880s and exemplifies the malleability of Citrus Sinensis (the Linnaean form for oranges). 17 Citrus Sinensis possess an uncanny ability for hybridization. Planting a seed of one variety does not assure an identical offspring. A sweet orange seed can produce a thorny, sour orange tree. Budding allowed for greater control and uniformity in orange production. Hardier plants like rough lemon or sour orange are grown fro m a seed for approximately two months. When deemed ready, an incision is made into the rootstock and budwood (also termed a scion) from a sweet orange tree is grafted into the incision. A trace of this process, the bud union, appears as a barely visible li ne on mature trees. The unpalatable citrus varieties make the best rootstock. The resulting trees are more 16 http://www.fl oridamemory.com/collections/WPA (accessed 17 March 2009). 17 Hamilton, Squeezed 8; Mormino, Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams, 204; McPhee, Oranges, 90 91.
11 productive, possess fewer thorns, and have a consistency and uniformity in taste that growers prefer. A nto a carnival, with lemons, limes, grapefruit, tangerines, kumquats, and oranges all ripening on its branches 18 ida is malleable itself. As a whose nature, in both sense s of the word, escapes easy definition. To explain the interdependent growth of the city of Chicago and its hinterlands Cronon differentiates between the untouched environment and land marked by human re demarks 19 The orange grove operates as second nature. A bucolic grove and the orange s it produces signify a healthy land r egardless of their actual ecological impact because humans cho o se to see their alterations of the land as improvements to the nonhuman world. By the late nineteenth century, orange groves h the economy. 18 McPhee, Oranges, 22; Hamilton, Squeezed 8. 19 William Cronon, Great West (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1991), 263 269.
12 a 20 While first nature continued to influence species selection, second nature d etermined how the landscape was shaped and viewed. Although Florida is a southern state, the place differs from the other states in the region because of its semi tropical blo water, and a bountiful nature exemplified by the iconic image of an orange tree replete 21 The orange came to represent Florida through what Cronon described as the the symbolic orange and its use in representation formed because of the ways humans create their symbolic surroundings. 22 French sociologists Henri Lefebvre posited, 23 Often t his social construction of space serves as a college football game played in a stadium of the same name. 24 As Lefebvre stated, nature can obscure the rational lucidity which the West has inherited from its history and 20 Ibid., 267. 21 Warren, "Natures Navels," 195 196. 22 Cronon, 267. 23 Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space, trans. Donald Nicholson Smith (Malden: Blackwell, 2001), 11. 24 The Orange Bowl stadium built in 1936 was destroyed in 2008. The game is still played.
13 hus naturalized, while nature rationalization, allows the understanding of linear rows in agriculture to be viewed as a rows. Postcard imagery of orange groves with circular trees in linear rows exemplified this point as the grove reflects how human hands affect the land. 25 (Figure 2) Lefebvre demonstrates how, through symbolic interpretation, humans have reduced nature to the pastoral. The process soc ial) space ns the space of an orange grove into the product that is the concept, Florida Parallel to this conceptual space could be consumed through oranges. Thus, the orange grove came to represent a metaphoric environment changed, what constituted nature shifted. Each time the orange became more abstract in its representation. T his is ge groves in 1950s, the abstraction of its representation increased. The original first nature became mage of an orange. 25 Lefebvre, The Production of Space, 26, 30 31.
14 Figure 2 Hillsborough County Grove Postcard, Circa 1930. Donald D. Spenser, Greetings From Tampa (Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing, 2008),80.
15 As in Florida wit h the introduction of railroads in the 1880s and the establishment of economies of Florida rail systems connected once remote orange pa ckinghouses to no rthern cities. The growth of the r ail roa d in Florida allowed citrus farmers to lose their reliance on having a close proximity to a major waterway and move farther inland. The railroad s offered a more expedient alternative to the previously used ox cart and boat 26 Railroad introduction marked a shift towards a more capitalistic view of orange groves by Floridians. By 1894, growers shipped over three million boxes of citrus, an increase of one million boxes in four years. 27 Also in 1894, Florida out produced its closest rival, California, by fifty percent. 28 The railroad s provid ed year round access to northern markets. Traditionally, oranges were considered a luxury item given on Thanksgiving and Christmas because of harvesting times and high shipping costs Prior to rail transportation, schooners carried the expensive Florida oranges to northern markets. In order to sell year round, some Florida orange growers harvested a variety of different oranges and grapefruits which ripened in different seasons. Grounded in North Florida, the region contribut ed two 29 26 Gregg M. Turner, A Short History of Florida's Railroads (Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2003). 27 28 Howard S eftel, "Government Regulation and the Rise of the Calfornia Fruit Industry: The Entrepreneurial Attack on Fruit Pests, 1880 1920," The Business History Review (1985): 369 402. 29 Turner, A Short History of Florida's Railroads 13.
16 Al though the railroad s accommodated for an increase in orange groves farther south, the nineteenth century citrus industry remain in the northern part of the state. This changed following t he harsh winter of 1894 1895 killed most of the se northern Florida groves and dropped statewide orange production down to 147,000 boxes The extent of th is vicissitude ended production. The Sun s ange production did not match Ca 30 However, the more resilient growers, undeterred by the freezes, moved farther south towards the sandy soiled center of the Sunshine State. The railroads and highways followed and the legendary Citrus Belt The industry immigrated from the northern part of the state farther south. Starting near Ocala and extending southwest t o Bradenton and southeast to Fort Pierce, the Florida Citrus Belt attracted an increasing amount of would be orange growers to the peninsula. Each potential grower wanted to cultivate thei r own golden orbs in areas like the Go lden Triangle, Indian River, o r the Peace River Valley. During this twentieth century, central Florida citrus boom many Floridians planted citrus trees in their own 31 Orange groves 30 Sef tel, "Government Regulation and the Rise of the Calfornia Fruit Industry: The Entrepreneurial Attack on Fruit Pests, 1880 1920," 388. 31 Mormino, Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams: A Social History of Modern Florida, 195.
17 dominated the landscape of central Florida. Green leaves, orange fruits, and white blossoms covered large trac ts of land converted into ordered landscapes. Fruit stands and packinghouses dotted the roadside of h ighways like U.S. 27 (also known as the Orange Blossom Trail). By 1919, Florida produced nearly six million boxes annually. 32 Orange groves in central Florida became so ubiquitous that they almost completely supplanted the As the railroad s altered human perceptions of the land, they likewise encouraged fostered overproduction. The birth of modern marketing arose to create demand for the superfluous product. In Fables of Abundance, Jackson Lears 33 In the late nineteenth century, the California Fruit Growers Exchange (CFGE) understood the importan ce of marketing, for consumption the members of the signify tha giving force. Consumption of an orange culture, the consumer would also be sun 34 To persuade consumers to choose their 32 W 185. 33 Jackson Lears, Fables of Abundance: A Cultural History of Advertising in America (New York: Basic Books, 1994), 88. 34 Douglas Cazaux Sackman, Orange Empire: California and the Fruits of Eden (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005), 87 89.
18 product over those of their competitors (like Florida oranges) Sunkist advertised their to eat oranges year Sunkist branding efforts and advertising campaigns allowed California to dominate the market for fifty years The Citrus indust ry in Florida lacked a uniform Smaller groups like the Florida Citrus Exchange advertised national ly, but the state mostly relied upon a variety of different methods to market oranges. Each method highlighted passenger train, the Orange Blossom Special, began ferrying winter tourist s from New trees. The oranges were hanging so close to the track that you could al most touch them. R iders on the Orange Blossom Special received a consta nt reminder as to what form of nature they should see. I n 1938, Ervin T. Rouse wrote an eponymous song about the rail line. The so ng became known as 35 Postcards were another way that displayed Since the turn of the century, postcards chronicled American developments in industry, architecture, and tra nsportation. 36 In 35 Randy Noles, Fiddle Tune (Anaheim: Centerstream Publications, 2002), 22 25. 36 Journal of Regional Cultu res 4 (1984):25 29.
19 Florida, postcards captured orange crates, packinghouses, and scenes of families or beautiful young women in orange groves. One postcard featuring the Orange Blossom and the tourist industry. ( Figure 3 ) Football bowl game. 37 orange grove s remained primarily the domain s of individual growers and packinghouses. Few Americans could travel to Florida and to see the groves for themselves until the 1950s. Those who did visit Florida witnessed forms like the Orange Blossom Special that proposed F lo rida as home of the orange. Yet ourists once they returned home not fixed. 38 appeared alongside several different Florid a brands. Unlike consolidated CFGE Florida had no industry wide group or consistent national advertising campaign. In the 1930s, through hardship and legal changes, Florida would consolidate also. The process though remained arduous until the end. Upon that end and with the help of several writers, Florida would become the undisputed home of the orange in the American consciousness. 37 Kohen, "Perfume, Postcards, and Promises: The Orange in Art and Industry," Journal of Decorative and Propoganda Arts 23 (1998): 32 47. 38 Douglas Cazaux Sackman, Orange Empire: California and the Fruits of Eden (Berkley: University of California Press, 2005), 25.
20 Figure 3 Orange Blossom Special Postcard, 1939. The Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts 23 (1998), 45.
21 Chapter Two: The Industry as Fact and Symbol Cross Creek, the author recalls the actions taken in her orange grove while preparing for a freeze: Night came and the temperature dropped steadily. The fatal 28 came at midnight challenge and danger and a certain spiritual sustenance comes from fighting it. For all the losses they have cost me, I would not choose to have lived without knowing the nights of firing on a freeze. 1 Throughout the work, Rawlings details the goings on of her adopted, back country, Central Florida home. The grove in Cross Creek symbolizes this community ; as it brings me n together, and provides nourishment. As evoked by this scene describin g the fi ring of the grove the world of citrus in Florida came together for its survival in the 1930s. 1894 1895 freeze pushed the industry from north Florida to the central C itrus Belt, the freeze of 1934 Following three of the warmest winters in state records, the 1935 fr eeze has historic significance for three particular reasons. In Tampa, the freez e was responsible for the large Temple orange grove in Hillsborough County near the site of the present day 1 Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Cross Creek (New York: Charl ), 331 332.
22 community of Temple Terrace 1935 winter is considered the last in which the old firing method (as describe d by Rawlin gs) was used to try to save the crop. justified the passing of legi slation that brought more controls to the industry. 2 By 1935, the Florida citrus industry had faced an econ omic depression, destructive hurricanes, crop killing freezes, and the Mediterranean fruit fly. Nonetheless, overproduction continuously plagued the industry. 3 For their economic survival, the citrus farmers fina lly came together with the creation of the F lorida Citrus Commission and the Florida Department of Citrus in 1935. 4 In addition to regulating the sale of the commodity, this governmental intervention allowed the industry to present a coherent and consistent message; that Florida and the orange were synonymous. 1930s. The new state agency created a hegemonic force that could control the marketing of ters and folklore during the same period. The published works that resulted from the Federal established the Over time the Florida 2 John A. Attaway, A History of Florida Citrus Freezes (Lake Alfred: Flori da Science Source, 1997), 67 74; The firing 1935 up to the present day involves coating the fruits with a layer of ice through a water sprinkling system. This ice coating acts a temperature barrier and saves the fruits from freezing internally. 3 James T. Hopkins, Fifty Years of Citrus: The Florida Citrus Exchange: 1909 1959 (Gainesville: University of Florida Press 1960 ). 4 Hopkins, Fifty Years of Citrus, 144 145; Florida Department of Citrus, The First Fifty Years o f the Florida Citrus Commission ( Tallahassee: Flor ida Department of Citrus, 1986); referencing this group as a whole or any actions taken by either. Unless, specified, this text will do likewise.
23 commodity. The confluence of government, industry, and history in the la te 1930s resulted from t he grim economic circumstances crop was marred by inconsistent marketing and industry infighting. Through an arduous battle in economically desperate times, the traditionally independent citrus farmers finally acceded to the need for a pan Florida organization. Based on other agriculture collectives that were permitted by twentieth century federal law adaptations the Florida Citrus Commission (FCC) and the Florida Department of Citrus (FDOC) formed in 1935 The two parts function as a unit. The Commission, a twelve member Board of Directors, sets policy for the Department to enact. Governo r production comprise the Commission. Their decisions are carried out by the Department. This combination of growers, packers, shippers, processors, marketers, bureaucrats, and politician s into a state governmental department became the first of its type formed to support a single agricultural commodity. 5 While an innovation, the Commission' s formation followed similar natio nal trends. David M. Kennedy, historian of the Great Depression described how the growth of federal, state, and local g overnments 5 David L. B Regional Economic Development Research Re port ( Clemson: Clemson University, 2004), 2.
24 scanty Jeffersonian government over which Hebert Hoover had been elected to preside in 6 Proving agricultural T hrough a wide variety of educational programs, scientific research, and prom otional activities t he Commission helped Florida maintain its billion dollar citrus industry to help grow the demand for Florida citrus products, providing a direct benefit t self imposed taxes, r 7 The Commission has play ed a prominent role in economy while help ing Florida adapt to modernization. Cooperat ive marketing arose in the late nineteenth century as response to rising shipping cost s brought on by monopolistic railroad practices. Although p romoters of sine qua non he marketplace restructuring brought on by railroads re quired these organizations to transform 8 P rices cannot be determined until harvest, those who purchase, package, and growers. Therefore, i ndividual growers joined local associations to counterbalance those economi c advantages. The local a ssociations vertically integrated with district and central 6 David M. Kennedy, Freedom From Fear: The American People in the Depression and War, 1929 1945 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 10. 7 http://www.floridajuice.com/fdoc.php 8
25 associations. Through money collected by either membership dues or self imposed taxes, the associations primarily concerned themselves with receiving the highest price for their harvest in distant markets. From this rudimentary sense of marketing (get products to market), cooperatives evolved into complex organizations that determined product quality standards, operated packinghouses, created national advertising campaigns research stations, and negotiated lower prices for required materials. 9 Prior to the Commission the most successful cooperative in Florida was the Florida Citrus Exchange (FCE). Formed in 1909, the FCE met in downtown Tampa but represented growers throughout the Citrus Belt. Agriculture organizations had existed in Florida during the first citrus boom (1865 limited expe rather than a collective improvement in knowledge and resources. The modern, corporate structured FCE operated under the SEALD SWEET label when marketing their products. With members across central Florida, the FCE operated until 1959. Other local and regional cooperatives in Florida included the Indian River Citrus League, the Florida Canners Association, Florida Citrus Mutual, Florida Citrus Canners Cooperative (now Citrus World), th e Citrus Control Board of Trustees, and the Committee of 50. 10 Attempts to establish a statewide industry group, however always failed. 9 Sackman, Orange Empire: California and the Fruits of Eden, 93 (see chap. 1, n. 39). 10 Hopkins, Fifty Years of Citrus, v vi.
26 In 1890, w hen the 51 st Congress passed the Sherman Act, the antitrust law that broke up corporate monopolies, farming cooperatives were given special status which size and the price setting practices of the California Associated Raisin Company (CARC, d many to questions this special status. Also 11 Post World War I surpluses dramatically reduced crop prices, therefore the cooperatives sought to protect their market contro lling advantages through legal maneuvering. The 1922 Capper Volstead Act also known as the Cooperative Marketing Act, resulted from lue adding activities that prepared their products for Volstead consented to cooperatives vagaries of agricultural ma rkets heavily favored processors and distributors when the terms of sale were negotiated with individual farmers, Capper Volstead recognized the to bolster their economic The Secretary of Agriculture would regulate the cooperatives to ensure they acted fairly 11 Cooperative Service, USDA, 2002), 63 65.
27 12 Capper Volstead justified cooperatives and allowed for a st rong, all encompassing group to form among Florida citrus growers. prevented cooperation. A fly began to break down their obstinacy. dfly grapefruit in April 1929. Although pests are a constant bane to farmers, they rarely require the National Guard to en force plant quarantines as the medfly did in 1929. Recognizing the medfly ndustry, citrus growers reluctantly sacrificed their independence in an effort of industry preservation. According to a November report by Stanford professor G.F. Ferris, the medfly status of leper, 13 The quarantine encompassed 1,002 groves surrounding Orlando. This accounted for nearly eighty 14 In eighteen months, the federal and state agencies spent nearly $7, 000,000 to eradicate this pest; their primary method was crop and tree destruction. 15 medfly wrea ks havoc on a cornucopia of produce. Smaller than the housefly, the medfly reproduces with rapidity and proficiency. One female medfly can produce upwards of 12 Ibid., 91. 13 G.F. F erris, "Concerning the Mediterranean Fruit Fly," Science, November 1929, 451 453. 14 Michael Gannon, Florida: A Short History (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2003), 84 85. 15 G.G. Rohwer, "The Mediterranean Fruit Fly in Florida: Past, Present, and Future." The Florida Entomologist 41 (1958): 23 25.
28 fourteen to twenty eggs, per day, for forty days. The female punctures holes in host fruits to lay her eggs. The list of over 250 possible host fruits includes or anges, grapefruit, apples, pears, peaches, and plums. Once hatched the larva (maggots) feed on the host fruit until the fruit rots and falls. T hen medflies burrow into the soil during their pupae phase, finally to emerge as reproducing adults. The egg to adult cycle takes 7 12 days and can occ ur in temperatures between 90 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of the adaptability and destructive ability s tate and federal agents had good reason for their sweeping precautions. T he medfly reappeared in Calif ornia and Florida several times and eradication has never truly occurred. What makes the 1929 event important is its impact on the individual farmers. Normally, Florida citrus farmers fiercely protected their individual property rights from any perceived intrusion. The Medfly brought recognition to the imp ortance of cooperation instead of the farmer s competitive individualism. Crop loss aside, the created more controls placed on grove inspection and the licensing of packinghouses, as well as reorganized distribution methods. Once the medfly the motivation for individual sacrifice waned, but the event steered the i ndustry towards collectivism by 16 The Florida citrus industry had good grounds for reserved optimism as Philip 16 Hopkins, Fifty Years of Citrus 105.
29 to capture t he process that greatly improved the taste and appeal of single 17 Although overproduction remained the bane of Florida citrus farmers, the constant search for a n outlet for superfluous product shows a dynamic industry aware that simply growing a quality product would never be enough. Many in the industry hoped Phillips would save formerly unsellable scarred or blemished fruit, know improvement was no t significant as consumers spurn ed the new canned orange juice as of canned orange juice, compared to their 18.9 pounds per capi ta of fresh oranges. 18 Despite the lack of sales, Dr. Phillips helped in conferring the known health benefits through scientific research. In 1929 the American Medical Association confirmed the health potency of vitamin C in canned citrus products These f indings prompted Phillips 19 Phillip s personal success highlights how the industry in the 1930s consisted of ed by Lorena Hickok. A confidante to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and personal in the field researcher for FDR, Hickok saw these 17 Joy Wallace Dickinson, (see chap. 1, n.7). 18 Alissa H amilton, Squeezed, 14 (see chap. 1, n. 9). 19 Dickinson, Mormino, Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams, 198 (see chap. 1, n. 2).
30 20 In a 1934 letter to the P resident Hickok stated being mean spirited, selfish, and irresponsible, I think Florida citrus growers have got the terrific beating on prices, getting as low as 50 cents a box for oranges that cost $6 a box 21 An interview with a citrus farmer expanded this description when explaining a typical industry meeting. According the grower, once an agreed marketing plan was set, individuals would quietly leave the me eting to be the first ones acting against the agreement. While this method profited the fastest to the telephone, it undercut any agreed marketing plan. 22 Such disloyalty among the independent farmers and between the various cooperatives kept Florida at a d Because industry leaders could not control the statewide supply, the Florida Citrus Exchange led an aggressive campaign to influence consumer demand. Under the SEALD SWEET brand, the FCE sought consumers through ads in National magazines such as and Life. In the 1926 1927 season, the Exchange combined magazine advertising included a 20 Florida Department of Citrus, The First 50 Years of the Florida Citrus Commission preface. 21 Lorena Hickok, One Third of a Nation: Lorena Hi ckok Reports on the Great Depression, ed. Richard Lowitt and Maurine Beasley (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1981), 164 165. 22 Ibid., 164 165.
31 circulation of nearly 6,000,000 printings per month. The ads usually called attention to SEALD SWEET varieties. Fl s high rainfall and hot summers favor the Hamlin and Valencia varieties with their thinner skins and minimal pulp. Oranges of arid California like the Washington Navel variety require a thicker skin to protect their pulpy insides from the cool summer evenings. The differe However, reliant upon the Colorado River and a series of canals for their limited water supply, California po rainfall and consistent heat proved the ideal place for growing high production, juicing er Louis MacDowell stated, re the Fords and the Chevrolets, not the Rolls 23 SEALD SWEET indows in northern markets to promote the brand. (Figure 4 ) Used to entice in store purchasing, the appealing displays of abundance became a fixed part of the newer, national grocery stores then replacing the 23 Hopkins, Fifty Years of Citrus, 9, 16; McPhee, Oranges, 9, 126 (see chap. 1, n. 4).
32 Fi gure 4 Chicago Grocery storefront showi ng SEALD SWEET display, 1938. Image courtesy of the Florida Citrus Archives, McKay Archives Center, Florida Southern College.
33 24 That same year, the Florida Citrus Exchange embarked on its most audacious promotional tactic, a juice extractor. First conceived in 1916, then eschewed over cost concerns, 16,324 extractors were given to consumers in the 1926 1927 season. Imprinted with the SEALD SWEET label, the Exchange believed the extractors would encourage SEALD SWEET orange purchases and do the job for the industry which advertising alone can do, far more advertising than the e can be obtained at present only through co operation of other operators. This cooperation 25 The Florida citrus advertising did have some positive effect for the state as they sold more than produce, they sold a dream. Although discussing California, Kevin Starr explains how 26 Sunkist c 24 James Mayo, The American Grocery Store: The Business Evolution of an Architectural Space (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1993), 87. 25 Hopkins, Fifty Years of Citrus, 88 94. 26 Kevin Starr, Inventing the Dream: California through the Progressive Era (Oxford : Oxford University P ress, 1990), 162.
34 never had such continuity in marke ting their oranges. While the Florida Citru s E xchange could keep to one message, other Florida distributors presented an assorted range of messages. part of a larger statewide challenge. Descriptions of Florida, also, never kept to a pres cribed framework. T the place in simple language impossible. A scholar of Florida colonial literature, Thomas Hallo ck claims that the land possesses from the sixteenth century to the present 27 Many Florida 28 labels depicted either accurate Seminoles or, and more often, a geographically inaccurate plains Native American chief when selling Indian River oranges. (Figure 5 ) 27 Thomas Hallock, "Between Topos and the Terrain: A Brief Survey of Florida Environmental Writing, 1513 1821 in Paradise Lost? The Environmental History of Florida, ed. Raymond Arsenault and Jack E. Davis (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2005), 25. 28 Jack E. Davis, "Alligators and Plume Birds: The Despoilation of Florida' Living Aesthetic," in Paradise Lost? The Environmental History of Florida ed. Raymond Arsenault and Jack E. Davis (Gainesville: Universit y Press of Florida, 2005), 236; Anne E. Rowe, The Idea of Florida in the American Literary Imagination (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1992).
35 Figure 5 Citrus Crate Label, Native American, Circa 1930s Jerry Jr. Chicone and Brenda Eubanks Burnette, Florida Citrus Crate Labels: An Illustrated History (West Palm Beach: Burnette & Associates, 1996), 60.
36 This disorganization in symbolic re Just as few agreed on a selling price, few citrus farmers understood the importance of selecting a uniform way to represen t their product to consumers. Selling Florida and oranges as intrinsically linked required a unified voice and brand. By late 1933 many within the industry clamored for more cohesion, especially concerning advertising. As New Deal policies began regula ting the agriculture industry, the call for a conc erted advertising campaign came C. W. Lyons, a leader in the movement addressed the industry statewide via radio. 29 WDAE, Lyons urged listeners to create demand for Florida grapefru its and oranges was n ot limited to simply increasing consumer demand. A campaign according to Lyons, would combat California citrus, other commodities, an d internal over production. 30 I. A. Yarnell, chairman of the Citrus Control Board of Trustees rofitable 31 Echoing these pleads for unity but less optimistic of it coming about internally, John A. Snively, president of the Florida Citrus Exchange, in 1932 29 C.W. Lyons, "Advertising Citrus Industry's Big Need, Lyon Asserts," The Citrus Industry, January 1934, 5, 8, 20, 25 26. 30 Ibid., 8,20. 31 St. Petersburg Times January 30, 1934.
37 predicted that only legislative action could graft together the various groups of 32 The first legislative piece came the following year with the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA). Responding to nationwide farm failure, Congress decided that if the majority of producers of an agricultural comm odity agreed, the producers could combine to regulate the volume of product flow to the national marketplace and determine a minimum quality of standards. This act sought price parity and market stability through forced cooperation from which agriculture c artels could emerge. Whereas the 1922 Capper Volstead allowed voluntary associations antitrust protection, the AAA provided the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture the power to issue a marketing agreement if 50 percent of shippers and 75 percents of growers in a state agreed to the provisions. After key provisions of the 1933 act were declared unconstitutional, Congress redefined the questioned controls and in 1937 the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act (AMAA) cemented the law. With the California Fruit Growers Exchange firmly form in that r egion which agreement in Florida as the one reached California proved more th an arduous among an agreement in 1939, one that did not include pro rationing, but shipping holidays 32 Florida Department of Citrus, The First Fifty Years, i ii.
38 instead. 33 The contenti s growing regions and within the state prevented a national cartelization. Prompted into action by the 1934 1935 winter, through an arduous battle in economically desperate times, the traditionally independent citrus farmers finally ceded the need for a pan Florida organization. From February to April of 1935, following multiple meetings held in Tampa and Lakeland, the industry leaders, farmers, packers, shippers, and government officials agreed to a series of bills for the state legislature to consider. and down acrobatics of an industry in 34 The Lakeland), regulated fruit standards for shipping, called for state industry advertising (separated into orange, grapefruit, and tangerine categories), initialed licensing and bond procedures, controlled color adding applications (the process of using machines that altered green rinds orange), and instituted emergency price guarantees. According to FCE historian John Hopkins, the Citrus Codes 35 Robert Gray swore in the eleven appointees and the first Commission meeting began. 33 E lizab eth Hoffman and Gary D. Libecap, "Political Bargaining and Cartelization in the New D eal: Orange Marketing Orders," i n The Regulated Ecomony: A Historical Approach to Political Economy ed. Claudia Goldin and Gary D. Libecap (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), 189 221; Lawerence Shepard, "Cartelization of the California Arizona Orange Industry, 1934 1981," Journal of Law and Economics 29 (1986): 83 123. 34 Florida Department of Citrus, The First Fifty Years, 146. 35 Ibid., 149.
39 Adopting seventeen prepared regulations, the Florida Citr us Commission recognized its prime function by establishing A dvertising as its first standing committee. 36 As the Exchange had called for in 1926, the Florida Citrus Commission was to levy an excise tax on all citrus products to pay for all advertising and promotions designed to increase 37 While the consumer demand through advertising and promotion receiv attention. As the Florida Citrus Exchange had realized years before, controlling production output on a commodity with a finite storage time required the kind of cooperation the acrimonious Florida growers could never reach. C reating taxes for industry advertising proved a much easier consensus. National advertising then offered itself as a means towards creating consumers who could alleviate the problems of overproduction. 38 when broadcasting nationwide from the 1936 Florida Orange Festival. Sholtz explained discourses of an improved life provided by sun and sand to help increase orange 36 Ibid. 1. 37 Ibid., 147; State of FL v. Lee 38 Stuart Ewen, Captains of Consciousness: Advertising and the Social Roots of the Consumer Culture (New York: Basic Books, 2001), 29 33.
40 consumption. 39 The citrus industry had found its message. Like the Florida could sell this agricultural commodity as a means to vitality through a supposedly un adulterated source of nature. Entrenching a long established cultural link between consuming citrus and good 1937 designed to fight an epidemic then striking many parts of the nation. 40 success in this medical health association would come later however, when WWII research sought a better vitamin C so urce for K rations Nevertheless, in June 1938, the Commission retained Arthur Kudner, Inc. as its advertising agency. With advertising expenditures around $750,000, the agency debut ed its recommended strategy in an autumn meeting that same year. 41 Using lante rn slides, agency representative H. F. Douglas presented to an Orlando crowd mock ups of print advertisements and the other Florida hotels and consumption in the state juice. T of Tamiami Trail Tours, also championed 39 Bill Ab bot, "Sholtz Sells Florida In Festival Broadcast: Cites Fruit Prosperity," Tampa Morning Tribune January30, 1936; Tim Hollis, Selling the Sunshine State: A Celbration of Florida Tourism Advertising (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2008), 1 6. 40 Florida Department of Citrus, The First Fifty Years, 4. 41 New York Times June 5, 1938.
41 word of mouth campaign by tourist s once they returned to their homes. Other proposals stressing the juice content of Florida oranges in all advertising materials. 42 Douglas ended the meeting by imploring the Commission to create a single trade name, similar to the E. N o immediate brand name came. I nstead of focusing on a brand name, the FCC looked towards national radio advertising and one of its established names. A unified Florida citrus message entered national advertising later than its rival and at a time of decre ased wages. In a time of scarcity, t he Commission chose to sell consumers on the health benefits of citrus along with Florida sunshine. The Commission presented Americans with the opportunity for respite through a vicarious trip to the Sunshine State by w ay of a grapefruit or orange purchase. To present this vicarious trip, the Commission hired Mary Margaret McBride as its spokesperson in 1940. With McBride, the Commission entered the radio foray hoping to establish these ideas into one coherent message. A radio star (and Eleanor Roosevelt favorite) from 1934 national audience of women and farm families when radio removed the isolation of rural life. 43 Radio removed the isol ation by vicariously trans porting its listeners out of their home and into large cities like Chicago or New York. 42 The St. Petersburg Independent, November 2, 1938; Anonym Miami Herald October 2, 1938. 43 Ware, 1 49; Time November 25, 1940.
42 Commission sponsored show operated as a radio version of the First illed living rooms with talk of current affairs, literary trends, entertainment news, and discussions about food. A 1940 Time de made a point of Commission, she serves grapefruit in the studio, spoons some herself whenever the spirit 44 To host the fifteen minute, nationally syndicated Co mmission sponsored show, McBride retired her popular regional forty five minute program. The new, shorter show July 4, 1941. The show never found its rhyt lt constrained was a waste of advertising expenditures. Both parties agreed to cancel the contract thirteen weeks short. Equally disturb ing to the radio host was that cording to McBride, the growers not understand why she did not spend more of the progra m talking about citrus products 44 Ware, McBride, 167.
43 45 Through their limited experience with radio, the collection of citrus men failed to understand how radio listeners connec Attempts to make the show work lasted throughout its short run. In January, at the request of Governor Fred Cone, the Commission invited McBride to F lorida so that she could familiarize herself with Florida citriculture. After attending a FCC meeting she even conducted a cooking class for the meetings participants. 46 McBride, for her part, broadcasted several shows from Lakeland. Surro unding herself with the typically rancorous citrus growers prove d disastrous as she was public ly chastised on several McBride heard a grower 47 McBride immediate and tangible results. It comes as no surprise that by the summer of 1941 both parties unequivocally agreed to the early contract termination. Whi exemplified u sage of radio as tool. Entering homes and creating a false sense of intimacy, 45 Ibid., 168. 46 Florida Department of Citrus, The First Fifty Years, 17. 47 Ware, 169.
44 increased governmental programs. According to media historian Jackson Lears, ecome a master advertiser of government, using Blue Eagles to symbolize the National Recovery Administration and Fireside Chats to wi n support for all his 48 The increase d fostered the Fl orida Citrus Commission also spurred social programs. One such program, e WPA embodied the P by employing out of work writers, editors, historians, researchers, and archeologists to record local and oral histories, ethnographies, children publication of the American G uide Series a collection of travel guides modeled on the well known and popular Baedeker series of guidebooks. 49 Directed by Carita Doggett Corse, the project in Florida produced one of the crowning achievements of all FWP works with Florida: A Guide to th e Southernmost State Including contributions from Stetson Kennedy and Zora Neale Hurston, Florida: A Guide that was simultaneously educa 50 48 Lears, Fables of Abundance 243. 49 Journal of Decorative and Propoganda Arts 23 (1998): 288 305. 50 Ibid., 294.
45 Because of its thoroughness and massive scope, the writings in Florida: A Guide created a new standard for describing this southernmost state. Since its 1939 publication many novelists, journalists, and s cholars reference this index to all things Florida. When conducting research for a new work set in southwest Florida, writer Richard P. Powell 51 Florida: A Guide c reated a new historiography for the state in which citrus played a prominent role in shaping the peninsula. Listing sixty nine different references to citrus, oranges, or grapefruit the work e In Florida: A Guide the authors explain cities citrus origins or nomenclature, linking the commodity to local and state economies, or serving in its role as a travelogue 52 s depict the area as havin he a romantic citrus scene the author s go perfume the countryside. Later, heavy trucks loaded with fr a 53 Throughout the text, descriptions 51 Jerre Mangione, 1943 (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1972), 148. 52 F ederal Writers Project Florida: A Guide to the Southernmost State, ed. Carita Doggett Corse (New York: O xford University Press, 1939), xiv 551 53 Ibid., 303.
46 similar to this one weave a pastoral Florida of bucolic groves and colorful farmers. Introductory chapters separately discuss citrus as part of the history, agricul ture, and The quality of Florida: A Guide were a result of its much herald ed editor, Carita Doggett Corse, and her tireless work. ic University titled Dr. Andrew Turnbull and the New Smyrna Colony of Florida The only person ally interviewing every writer and researcher for every project as well as finding and ea rly advocate of increased citrus farming cooperation. 54 Together Corse and Mayo published Birds in Florida and Tropical Fruits in Florida with Commercial Possibilities 55 Titled The History of Citrus in Florida, Corse wrote the piece for the public school system as part of a 1938 1939 FWP series. This brief pamphlet cites key colonial Florida texts including Jonathan D Willi T ravels Natural History of Florida, as well as 54 Hopkins, Fifty Years of Citr us, 98. 55 Carita Doggett Corse, Birds in Florida (Tallahassee: State of Florida, Department of Agriculture, c. 1941) ; Tropical Fruits in Florida with Commercial Possibilities (Tallahassee: State of Florida, Department of Agriculture, c. 1941)
47 tracts on the origins of commonly grown orange varieties. 56 Through an inclusion of the Seminoles orange usage and the names of their three k nown varieties, Corse interlaced citrus lore with Amerindian history at a time of renewed interest in the Seminoles. 57 cited mate rial or as an influential work. Writing an introductory study for the U.S. The Citrus Industry and Occupations in Florida 58 cited Oranges shares strikingly si The History of Citrus in Florida. The features on and the history of the Temple orange variety bear a particular resemblance. 59 Many contemp orary histories of the Sunshine State and the orange in Florida have employed Florida: A Guide to the Southernmost State and/or Oranges thereby Corse and her team of writers In the late 1930s, the FWP and the Commission strengthened the relationships between the government, citrus industry, and state hist ory. 56 Corse, he History of Citrus in Florida (see chap. 1, n. 16). 57 Ibid. 58 U.S. National Youth Administration Florida The Citru s Industry and Occupations in Florida, ed. Joe A. Youngblood and Arthur R. Meade (Tallahassee: U.S.Nationa l Youth Administration, 1940?), 1 6. 59 McPhee, Oranges 90 92; Corse, The Hist ory of Citrus in Florida
48 In 1937, during the annual Orange Festival at Silver Springs, the Florida State Horticultural Society celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. A performance titled Golden Harvest: The Romance of Florida Citrus marked the occasion. Based on a sentimental h istory of the orange in Florida, the play captured the positive mood many in the To you my daughter, I give t his crown. Its brightness is for the glowing color of wealth that has come to me because of you; its shining is for the lustre that your name has brought me. I have been happy tonight looking backward to the time when you were first brought to me, Spanish gold in the hold of a Spanish ship. I am happier still as I look into your future, our future as your fate and mine are so closely twined together. For yo ur past, which is glamorous with romance, for your present, which is rich with fulfillment, and for your future which is glorious with promise, I crown you 60 This maudlin play capture s the importance of citrus to Florida. In 1935 Citrus Codes brought together a cacophony of various mumblings to create a unified voice. The Tightening both the historic and economic bonds with d that future story entwined with the oran ge 60 Nina Oliver Dean, Golden Harvest: The Roman ce of Florida Citrus The Florida State Horticultural Society on the Occasion of its Semi Centennial Celebration, Ocala, April 14, 1937.
52 Chapter Three Add Three Cans of Water and Mix The December 1941 declarations of war cr eated new challenges for the Florida citrus industry. The industry leaders anticipated government al purchases of products material shortages which would cause substitutions, and price controls.1 During the war, the Commission decided to keep the name of Florida citrus products before the public. Rather than just whet the publics appetite, th e new, patriotic advertisements showed the great importance of these products in feeding and maintaining the hea lth and vigor of the armed forces. The new campaign featured Victory Vitamin C as its slogan and portrayed images of American soldiers in battle next to jingoistic body copy.2 (Figure 6) The effort to make sure those that fighti ng actually received their vitamin C funded research that produced Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate (FCOJ), a discovery made in the Lake Alfred citrus experiment station. By WWIIs end the Florida Citrus Commissions role in the states citrus industry had pe rmanence and its creation, FCOJ, would greatly alter all the previous problems of overproduction.3 Getting soldiers to consume Victory Vitamin C proved more difficult than depicting them courageously in battle. Desp ite years of research, canned citrus products never captured the taste of fresh juice. C onsumers constantly complained of canned orange juice as having a cooked or metallic taste. Frozen orange juice, without being 1 Florida Department of Citrus, The First Fifty Years, 20 (see chap.1, n. 4). 2 Ibid., 23. 3 Alissa Hamilton, Squeezed 11-27 (see chap. 1, n.9); ShaneHamilton, Cold Capitalism: The Political Ecology of Frozen Concentrated Orange Juice, Agricultural History 77 (2003): 557-639.
Figure 6 F J i lorida Grap e i m Heiman n e fruit Juice A n ed., All A m A dvertisem e m erican Ads : 53 e nt, 1943 : 1940s (Ko l l n: Taschen, 2001), 441.
54 concentrated, had been available since th e 1930s. Processed, frozen, and packaged in Lake Worth, Donald Duck Orange Jui ce (made by the Florida Citrus Canners Cooperative) rarely resembled orange juic e in taste by the time it reached its final destination. Canned juice, either in liquid, frozen, or some in-between form, lost essential oils needed for taste. Due to poor refrigerati on the juice constantly degraded in quality during transport. Somehow, exposure to air and inadequate refrig eration altered the product. Canned juice tasted so terrible that Americans preferred canned tomato juice to canned grapefruit or orange juice. For the war effort, the poor taste, lack of refrigerated transportation, and the products weight a nd bulk made canned citrus products an impractical form of vitamin C for the soldie rs. Without an efficient means to transport orange juice, the Quartermaster Corps discovered just how difficult getting soldiers to consume an unpalatable substitute product could be regardless of its benefit.4 Finding a way to meet the soldiers nutritional needs meant the Subsistence Research Lab (SRL) branch of the Quartermas ter Corps searched for the most efficient and effective means of delivery. Soldiers re jected pills, capsules, and tablets. By 1943, the Parachute and Mobile Tr oop Ration, colloquially know as the K ration, supplied the soldiers with three pocket-sized meals containing vitamin A in its eggs and cheese, whole wheat and soy flour in its biscuits, whea t germ and dried milk for vitamins B and E plus frolic acid, meat for protein, and for vitamin C the soldiers received packets of lemon crystals to be mixed with water. The K ration met the soldiers nutritional needs 4 Shane Hamilton, "Cold Capitalism," 557563.
55 extremely well. The only problem with the K rations remained its taste. Instead of providing an appetizing meal, th e K rations, paved the roads to the front lines and filled the gutters along the detours. The soldiers particularly detested the lemon crystals.5 The University of Floridas citrus experi mental research stat ion in Lake Alfred received federal funding to create a decent-ta sting, cheap, and transportable concentrated orange juice. Prior attempts at concentrati ng orange juice by eva porating the water from heated juice created a produc t universally despised. Citrus historian Thomas Mack labeled the product battery acid.6 John McPhee described the pr oduct as tasting like a glass of water with two teaspoons of s ugar and one aspirin dissolved in it.7 In 1943, three scientists working at the research station began a quest to untie the Gordian knot in preservation.8 With additional backing from the Florid a Citrus Commission, citrus researchers Louis MacDowell, Edwin Moore, and Cedric Atkins discovered that by adding a squirt of fresh orange juice to concentrate as it came out of the evaporator, the lost fresh flavor returned. This process, known as the cut-b ack, (because the added juice decreased the concentration of evaporated juices, ther eby cutting-back the concentrated amount) standardized orange juice th rough controlling the type of juice added. The added juice provided the essential oils and returned th e fresh juice flavor. The concentrated 5 Alissa Hamilton, Squeezed 16-18. 6 Ibid., 18. 7 McPhee, Oranges, 125 (see chap. 1, n.4). 8 Mormino, Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams 197-199 (see chap. 1, n. 2).
56 material could come from a variety of orange s. As long as the added juice remained the same all, of the resulting concentrate containers would taste identical. The resulting slush would be frozen a nd packaged, removing much of the liquid bulk. Technological improvements in refrigera tion made transportation feasible. Once the product reached its destination the consumer me rely had to reconstitute the concentrated product by adding water. The ratio of three pa rts water to one part concentrate made directions simple Add three cans of water a nd mix. By the 1960s, this sentence became as common to every American home as Its Howdy Dowdy Time! MacDowell, Moore, and Atkins patent ed their discovery in 1948. Although too late for use in the war, the researchers gave patent number 2,453,109 to the USDA. Its creators received only acknowledgement, gra titude, and their normal state salaries for their discovery. Private companies immediately implemented th e processing technology because the researchers opened their patent to the public.9 Labeled a Cinderella product for the way it metaphorically transformed the industry from common worker to belle of the ball, FCOJ purportedly so lved Florida citrus constant surplus problems by creating a means for long-term storage.10 Frozen Concentrated Orange Juice hit Am erican grocers shelf at a time of increased standardization in American culture. The 1950s witn essed the rise of Americas postwar consumer culture. Through technological advances, a strengthening of corporate culture, and an increasing middle class, production and consumption steadily 9 Ibid.: Alissa Hamilton, Squeezed 20; Shane Hamilton, C old Capitalism, 562. 10 Warren, Natures Navels, (see chap. 1, n. 10).
57 rose in tandem as Americans spread out into the sprawling suburbs.11 The popularity of Betty Cocker, SPAM, McDonalds, Velveeta ch eese, and other instant products allowed FCOJ to easily find its place in the modern kitchen. Postwar refrigerated trucking and home refrigeration changed how Americans ate.12 The American Can Company estimated that between 1951 and 1952, FCOJ ha d saved housewives the equivalent of fourteen thousand hours of labor now that they no longer hand squeezed fresh oranges, but simply mixed three cans of water to one part orange concentrated.13 If this Cinderella product eliminated grueling house work, it proved nothing short of a miracle for the Florida citrus industry. Floridas th in-skinned Valencia, pineapple, and Hamlin oranges contained a high juice and sugar content, making them perfect for processing. The old Californian knoc k against Floridas thin-skinned oranges, that if you want to eat Florid a orange you have to get into the bathtub first, proved a blessing. In 1942, Florida out pr oduced its old rival and never looked back. California became a fading orange empire.14 In 1950, Florida produced fifty-five percent of the countrys oranges and a record one-hundred million boxes.15 By 1953, seven out of ten groves were used in FCOJ production.16 Throughout the decade, orange produc tion increased. Growers continued to plant trees and whereas overproduction once nearly destroye d the industry, surpluses 11 Lears, Fables of Abundance, 247 (see, chap. 1, n34). 12 Shane Hamilton, Cold Capitalism, 564. 13 Alissa Hamilton, Squeezed, 23. 14 McPhee, Oranges, 9; Sackman, Orange Empire 295-300 (see chap. 1, n. 35). 15 Mormino, Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams 196. 16 Shane Hamilton, Cold Capitalism, 565.
58 could now be banked. The industry came clos e to achieving the stability that the controversial New Deal po licies, the Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) and Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act (A MAA), had sought. FCOJ brought growers high profits despite constant bumper crops A 1962 USDA report showed that FCOJ returned forty-nine percent of the consumers purchase prices to the grower, compared to thirty percent for fresh oranges.17 Many believed that FCOJ allowed that an agricultural product to achieve the same rationali zation as industrial manufacturing had.18 Later freezes and market manipulation would prove this rationalization inaccurate, but FCOJ allowed for the closest approximation to pr oduction stability that agriculture could achieve. The postwar rise in technologies and (government-influenced) free markets favored large corporations. Following FCOJ s advent, the independent growers began selling their groves to an ever shrinking group of corporate entities. The Florida citrus industry soon became a virtual oligopoly of four companies: Minute Maid, Snow Crop, Pasco Packing Company, and Birds Eye. Each ag ribusiness purchased vast tracts of grove land in the 1950s to guarantee a supply for their concentration plants. Minute Maid proved especially apt in this new market Starting as Bostons National Research Company (NRC), the company began to use its evaporation technology to create a powdered citrus product as pa rt of the Quartermasters ch allenge. Once FCOJ proved to be the better product, NRC opened a plant in Plymouth, Florida and began marketing 17 Alissa Hamilton, Squeezed, 22. 18 Shane Hamilton, Cold Capitalism, 560-561.
59 under the Minute Maid brand. The name all uded to the simple reconstitution process. In 1949, Minute Maid purchased 4,700 acres of citrus lands for $5 million, purportedly the largest transaction in Florida citrus history.19 The growth of Minute Maid coincided w ith their business relationship to crooner and radio personality Bing Crosby. Unlike the Citrus Commissions sponsorship of Mary Margaret McBride, the Minute Maid-Crosby de al was mutually beneficial. At first, Minute Maid could not afford to pay Crosby, so he received 20,000 shares (at 10 cents a share) in the company and the title Manager of Bing Crosby Minut e Maid Corporation (a marketing subsidiary). Between 1949 and 1954, Crosbys Minute Maid Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice show started weekday mornings at 10:15 with Crosby asking his sidekick, Ken, whats the shopping hint for today? To which Ken Carpenter responded, Well, its Minute Maid Fresh Frozen Orange Juice, ladies. And your frozen food store has it. Crosby would mellifluously tell his national a udience that, Theres no doubt about it. Minute Maid is the best there is for a fresh squeezed taste. That fresh squeezed taste was available year-round in the frozen food store, regardless of the crops season.20 To further this association of year-ro und quality, the shows weather report featured Crosby asking, And whats the weat her like today, Ken? Ken replied, Oh, its just fine here in the studio. The implie d message was that technologically controlled 19 Mormino, Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams 201. 20 Ibid.; McPhee, Orange, 138-139;.Alissa Hamilton, Squeezed, 26; Shane Hamilton, Cold Capitalism, 558; Warren, Natures Navels, 190.
60 FCOJ, like the temperature-controlled weather in the studio, is consistently fine. With more Americans purchasing home refrigerators throughout the 1950s, Minute Maid grew and eventually acquired its chief compet itor, Snow Cap. By 1960, when Coca-Cola bought the company, Minute Maid owned thirty thousand acres of groves, operated three concentration plants, and had a larg e corporate headquarters in Orlando.21 The ubiquity of FCOJ in American homes allowed Florida to become synonymous with orange juice. Maintaining its part in this connection of product to place, the Florida Citrus Commission incr eased its advertising budget with new found wealth from FCOJ. The Commission began re quiring the word Florida to appear conspicuously on more citrus products in th e 1950s. Continuing its Flu campaigns from the previous decades, the Commission developed new ways to remind consumers of the health potency of Floridas citrus. Despite the initial failure with Mary Margaret McBride, the Commission continued to sponsor radio programs including Dave Garroways and Tom Moores. With an improved understanding of show sponsorship, the Commission asked each host to stress the health benefits from consuming Florida citrus.22 When the affable Garroway demonstrated his ability to host NBCs Today show, the Commission sponsored his 1954 Dave Garroway Show, a Friday night variety television program.23 Garroways connection to Florida citrus did not remain limited to the sponsorship. In an unforeseen 21 Ibid.; McPhee, Orange, 138-139; Alissa Hamilton, Squeezed, 26; Shane Hamilton, Cold Capitalism, 558; Warren, Natures Navels, 190. 22 Florida Department of Citrus, The First Fifty Years, 37-39. 23 Ibid.; Anonymous, Comebacks: Peace, Old Tiger, Time, July 18, 1969.
61 citrus-related twist, Garroways co-host on Today, the lovable, orange juice drinking J. Fred Muggs, a chimpanzee credited with saving the show from early cancellation, retired to a compound in of all places, Citrus Park, Hillsborough County, Florida.24 Trusted male spokesmen like Crosby a nd Garroway did not completely represent the physical representation of the oranges health benefits In the 1950s, the Commission initiated a relationship with the Miss Amer ica beauty pageant winner. The 1953 winner, Miss Neva Jane Langley from Lakeland, becam e the first to serve as the Commissions agent. Through television commercials and appearances on Garroways show, the beautiful Miss Langleys youth and figure imp licitly conveyed that Florida oranges and grapefruit produced naturally healthy results. This use of curvaceous, but innocuous young women embraced many of the eras cult ural ideas. The 1950s witnessed a regendering in the American aesth etic. Christian Diors postwa r New Look instituted and influenced a re-emphasis on womens sec ondary sexual characteristics in fashion. Meanwhile, Marilyn Moores combination of childlike wonder, hourglass-shaped figure, and dangerous sexuality exemplified a natural woman ideal in films and advertisements. Hiring the Miss America winne r as the Florida citrus representative tapped into this cultural shift to validate it steady claims of health and natural goodness. The fact that Langley came from the Citrus belt further solidified this connection. 24 Josh Zimmer, Trainer of Famed Ch imp J. Fred Muggs Dies at 80, The St. Petersburg Time, March 14, 2002; As a child, I personally heard Muggs bellow. Muggs Citrus Park retirement co mpound shared a property line with the Citrus Park Little League Baseball fields where I played as a child.
62 Two years later, Miss Americas 1955 wi nner, Lee Ann Meriwether, also hailed from a citrus growing region. The Commi ssion debated employing Miss Meriwether because she was a native Californian. Realizi ng that any citrus connection served their goals better than none (and that they owed Meriweth er $7,500 either way), the Commission continued their us e of Miss Americas in mark eting. Meriwether suppressed any feelings for her home state and served as the 1955 Florida citrus representative. Following her year as Miss America and Florida citrus representative, Meriwether worked with Garroway on the Today show.25 FCOJ finally brought Florida citrus the recognition and distinction the industry craved. No longer competing with Californi a or precariously dependent on favorable weather, Floridas citrus industry matured. Li ke budding, FCOJ also further separated the unadulterated product of nature from the consumer. Advertisements continued their invocation of nature when presenting Fl orida oranges, only FCOJ mediated their vicarious enjoyment of Flor idas nature. The integration of government agencies like the Florida Citrus Commission, the Florida Department of Citrus, and the Univer sity of Floridas research station with private entities like Minute Maid created a c itrus boom unlike the previous ones. FCOJ marketing expert William Grierson labeled the concentrate boom as the boomiest boom since the Brazilian rubber boom, but this was not the only boom to hit Florida following 25 Anonymous, New Ad Plans Announced By Citrus Group, Sarasota Herald-Tribune June 18, 1953, 8; Associated Press, California Gal in Tough Spot, The Spokesman Review September 15, 1954, 14; Miss America, Lee Meriwether, Miss America, http://www.missamerica.org/ou r-miss-americas/1950/1955.aspx
63 the war.26 Floridas reputation as Americas vaca tionland gained new importance in the era of interstate highways, air-conditioning, and middle-clas s wealth. To sell Floridas exotic qualities and semi-tropical weather, marketers employed of the orange as a sacred symbol related to the sun, fun, and hea lth available in the Sunshine State. If social space is a social product as Henri Lefebvre claimed, then alongside oranges, Floridas tourism was the other so cial product in the 1950s. Prior to World War II, Florida had served as the wintering home for the wealthy as well as the parsimonious tin can tourists.27 The postwar economy and technological advancements allowed the Sunshine State to become Americas pl ace for year-round sun-and-fun. In November 1949, on U.S.17 near the Georgia border, Florid a opened the first state-owned Welcome Station. Here tourists receive d a free glass of orange juice.28 The next year, 4.5 million tourists crossed the border and crowded Floridas beaches, hotels, and roadside attractions. Places like Silver Springs and Mi amis Parrot Jungle played upon Floridas semi-tropical weather and dis tinct flora and fauna. Modern air-conditioning opened the hot, humid summer months to travel as hot els, restaurants, and automobiles even transformed into havens rather than hotboxes during the dog days of summer. Like Bing Crosbys studio, the weather in Florida was always, fine. Where an earlier generation marveled at the scenery from the windows of the Orange Blossom Sp ecial, tourists could now travel independent of predetermined st ops in their air-conditioned cars. The land 26 Shane Hamilton, Cold Capitalism, 565. 27 William W. Rogers, Fortune and Misf ortune: The Paradoxical Twenties, in The New History of Florida, ed. Michael Gannon (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1996), 287-304. 28 Tim Hollis, Dixie Before Disney: 100 Years of Roadside Fun (Jackson: University Pre ss of Mississippi, 1999), 13.
64 altered in tandem to the change in transportatio n. In the postwar landscape, tourists travel along Floridas highways, like U.S. 27, nicknamed the Orange Blossom Trail. This greater autonomy in travel fertilized a greater variety in destinations. Sociologist David M. Hummon considered tourism as a form of secular ritual and like other rituals produces an iconog raphy of sacred symbols and objects.29 A 1950s map for the Gulf Coast Scenic Highway (U .S. highways 19 and 41) from the American Automobile Association (AAA) featured tw o Florida icons demonstrates the use of sacred symbols. Using a tri-color design dominated by orange, the map features a paternalistic orange-hued sun worshipe d by a shorts-wearing young woman standing on the beach. Heliotropic palm trees on the left si de frame the image. (Figure 7) While the orange does not appear in the map, an orange could easily be substi tuted for the orangehued sun. Further, the association of Florida to the fruit makes the mental jump from color to fruit easy. Whereas this map indir ectly acknowledges the orange, most tourist advertisements and marketing materials prom inently included the ic onic symbol, whether directly referring to the oranges status in Florida or using the ag ricultural commodity as a design element. An advertisement from the Florida State News-Bureau exemplified this direct relationship between tourism and the oranges. (Figure 7) Placed in national magazines, the advertisement encouraged the potential visitor to come because, Yes, its Orange Blossom Time again in Florida. Part of the states FABULOUS FLORIDA COOL in 29 David M. Hummon, "Tourist Worlds: Tourist Advertising, Ritual, and American Culture," The Sociological Quarterly 29 (1988): 179-202.
Figure 7 A T ( G A merican A u u tomobile A s s sociation M M ap, circa 1 9 9 50s. T im Hollis, S G ainesville: S elling the S u University P u nshine Stat e P ress of Flo r e : A Celbra t r ida, 2008), 2 t ion of Flori d 2 4. d a Tourism A A dvertisin g 65
66 Summer WARM in Winter! campaign, the ad features a young couple smiling, dancing, fishing, and sunbathing amid the frui t and flower. (Figure 8) To guarantee the reader made the connection between Florida s sun, fun, and the orange, images signifying each idea appear identical in shape and colo r. The sun graphic only lacks the leaves and blossoms. On the far right side, a bathing su it-clad woman holds a be ach ball that mimics the sun and orange in shape and color, ther eby unifying a Florida vacations themes and sacred symbols through one design element. Those heading to Florida had more than just the beach as a desired destination. Roadside attractions summoned the traveler in all parts of the state. According to Ken Breslauers Roadside Paradise these attractions utilized some aspect of the states flora and fauna as a central theme.30 In this manner, the attrac tions collectively differentiated Florida from everywhere else. Whereas places like Cypress Gardens and Miamis Monkey Jungle built up these qualities, the eve r-present Florida orange groves fostered orange juice stands as one of the most common roadside attractions in the state.31 While large corporations might have controlled FCOJ production and the marketplace, a few family run groves along major highways continue d their operations as purveyors of fresh oranges and juice for those traveling through. (Figure 9) 30 Ken Breslauer, Roadside Paradise: The Golden Age of Florida's Tourist Attractions: 1929-1971 (St. Petersburg: RetroFlorida, 2000), 9-10. 31 Cory H. Gittner Miamis Parrot Jungle and Gardens: The Colorful History of an Uncommon Attraction (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2000).
Figure 8 T T ( G T ourism Ad v T im Hollis, S G ainesville: v ertisement, S elling the S u University P 1950s. u nshine Stat e P ress of Flo r e : A Celbra t r ida, 2008), t ion of Flori d 11. d a Tourism A A dvertisin g 67
Figure 9 R T ( G R oadside Or a T im Hollis, S G ainesville: a nge Juice S t S elling the S u University P t and, 1950s. u nshine Stat e P ress of Flo r 68 e : A Celbra t r ida, 2008), 2 t ion of Flori d 2 55. d a Tourism A A dvertisin g
69 In 1956, several Florida businessmen wanti ng to take part of Floridas tourism boom built the 226-foot Citrus Tower (Figures 10 and 11) Nestled amid 17 million citrus trees and sitting atop of a near ly-300 foot hill, the tower o ffered the visitor an endless vista of orange groves and lakes in along Floridas ridge. The Citrus Tower presented an endless view of orange trees in linear rows as the nat ural landscape. Coupled with nearly 100 years of orange marketing and FCOJs phenomenal success, this presentation made the orange groves as part of the la ndscape instead of a usurper of the land. Fifty years earlier, Henry James, in his 1904 travelogue The American Scene, described a dream-like Florida. A place possess ing a vagueness, that remained, sweet, being scented and flower and fruited. Jame s especially enjoyed Floridas subtropical climate, cool oceanic breezes, and the o ranges and grapefruits ... velvet air. 32 During the 1950s, tourism and citrus promoted the S unshine States virtue s of youth, health, and happiness so well that many of the people who first came as visitors return to become residents seeking their part of the Florida Dream. 32 Henry James, The American Scene (Boston: Harper & Brothers, 1907), 396, 443.
Figure 10 T T ( G T he Citrus T o T im Hollis, S G ainesville: o wer, 1956. S elling the S u University P u nshine Stat e P ress of Flo r e : A Celbra t r ida, 2008), t ion of Flori d 196. d a Tourism A A dvertisin g 70
Figure 11 T T ( G T he Citrus T o T im Hollis, S G ainesville: o wer and O r S elling the S u University P r ange Bloss o o m Trial, cir c c a 1956. u nshine Stat e P ress of Flo r e : A Ce l ebr a r ida, 2008), a tion of Flo r 197. r ida Touris m m Advertisin g g 71
72 Conclusion There was no shortage of hucksters selling the Florida dream in the 1950s. Promoters, developers, salesmen, and advertis ing copywriters playe d indispensible roles in defining, packaging, and redeeming the Florida dream.33 By choosing the orange as Ridgewood Groves thematic element in 1958, the communitys developer and chief salesman, Charles Cheezem, packaged th e neighborhood with the key symbol of Floridas vivacity. As the states phenomen al population and urban growth continued in the latter half of the twentieth century, more developers latched on to orange symbolism in order to sell their projects. The linkage between the orange and Florida had become so entrenched through years of industry advertisi ng and state promotion th at allusions to the orange became commonplace. Evoking Florida s natural qualities in the minds of consumers, these symbolic groves of houses and strip malls ir onically replaced the second nature groves that preceded them in the coming decades. As one Orange County agriculture extens ion agent stated, Our No. 1 crop is Yankees.34 Yet, the story of the orange in Florid a has always been one of migration. After Juan Ponce de Lens expeditions introduced the orange to Flor ida, each period of intense citrus production attracted new citiz ens to the land. Following the Civil War, the increased commercial possibilities enticed nort herners with the lure of Florida gold.35 However, due to the vagaries of agri culture, technological advancements in 33 Mormino, Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams, 47. 34 Ibid., 205. 35 Weeks, Florida Gold, 13-55 (see chap. 1, n. 8); Warren, Natures Navels, 180.
73 transportation, and the farmers fierce indi viduality, the industry remained disorganized until the twentieth century. Events that began in the late 1920s forced the citrus industry in Florida to change. Overproduction constantly beleaguered orange growers. Infighting amongst the growers and the lack of a strong central organization ke pt the Florida citrus industry divided. The 1935 creation of the Florida Citrus Commissi on and the Florida Department of Citrus finally allowed for the enactment of statew ide controls. One of the Commissions main functions was to increase consumption with effective marketing. Through the Commissions direction, Flor ida orange growers presented a uniform message to American consumers. Concurrent to this ch ange in marketing, politicians and state boosters used the orange to symbolize the st ates sunshine and semi-tropical weather in an effort to attract tourists and businesses to Florida. Du ring the late 1930s, the Federal Writers Program, a New Deal project, recorded a history of the orange in Florida. Journalists and historians have subsequently repeated this histor y, thereby making it the accepted narrative for the orange in Florida. The federal government was also fundament al in funding research that sought a better method for delivering vitamin C to Worl d War II soldiers. This research ultimately led to the creation of Frozen Concentrated Orange Juice in 1 948. Dubbed a Cinderella product for its ability to change an entir e industry overnight, FCOJ propelled Florida orange production to new heights. Because FC OJ made Florida orange juice a breakfast staple in American homes, the connecti on between place and product strengthened.
74 Drawing on this increased market presen ce, Floridas postwar tourism industry appropriated the symbolic orange to attract customers in their sa le of the Florida dream. Ten years after the advent of FCOJ, the or ange represented not only Florida as an agricultural commodity, an aspe ct of its landscape, or tour ist icon. Rather, the orange unified these elements and operated as a me taphor for Florida in its entirety. Through marketing, the orange became a tangible mani festation of the sun for the Sunshine State. In 1955, Time magazine featured an article depicting Governor LeRoy Collins role in the states phenomenal growth. Citing population increases and industry growth as mere figures that could not convey an adequate idea of the seismic social, political, economic, and geographical changes which Fl orida had dealt with since the war, the magazine portrayed a rapidly modernizing Flor ida. When asked if the state was becoming over-dependent on tourism, Gov. Collins replied, N ot so long as we keep the rest of our house in order. The magazines cover displayed what Collins rest of the house meant. In an outlined drawing of the stat e, a factory, a young woman, and cow sit atop a background of oranges and leaves. (Figure 13) If Tourism. Industry. Agriculture., represented the numerators of Florida, then the orange operated as the denominator.36 36 Anonymous, Florida: A Place in the Sun, Time, December 19, 1955, 18-21.
Figure 12 Time Magazine December 19, 1955 Anonymous, Florida: A Place in the Sun, Time, December 19, 1955, 18-21. 75
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